What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
When you’ve been in a car accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve put together a “What to do after a car accident” checklist — to help you navigate the aftermath of an accident — and make sure your situation gets handled as smoothly and safely as possible.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and disorienting. From minor accidents to major collisions, it’s key to be thorough, collected and aware. Take a look at our advice on what you to do after a car accident:
Remaining calm and collected right after a car accident is crucial to easing the negative effects that come with it. In addition to keeping your cool, make sure to follow these next steps to get the best possible outcome.
Safely move your vehicle out of traffic
If you’re in traffic and can drive your vehicle, do your best to move it out of traffic. If you can't move it, don't try. Turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights.
Check for injuries
If you or any of your passengers are hurt, can't get out of your car or it's not safe to try, keep your seatbelt fastened and turn on your hazard lights remain inside your vehicle. Communicate with your passengers if possible but do not move them.
Call emergency services as soon as possible, especially if you or your passengers are injured. If no one is hurt, it’s still a smart idea to call the police non-emergency number as many areas legally require you to report accidents. Check your local police department’s website for their non-emergency number. Even in minor car accidents you should call the police, as an official accident report and visit from an officer can be very helpful when submitting an insurance claim.
Don't blame anyone for the accident
Even though your emotions might be running high, don’t accept the blame or put it on the other driver. Even if the accident is clearly the other driver’s fault, accepting blame to be polite or courteous could come back to bite you later on. Instead, make sure they and their passengers are OK after checking on everyone in your vehicle.
What to Do After You Leave the Scene of the Accident
Now that you’ve gotten through the toughest part of the incident, you should make sure the process keeps running smoothly by taking these post-accident tips into consideration.
File a claim
Contact your insurance provider and file a claim. If you have American Family Insurance, you can file a claim using the MyAmFam app — 24/7, wherever you are. You can also file your claim by logging in to My Account. And depending on the incident, it could take as little as a couple minutes to get it filed — and get you back on the road.
Reporting an auto insurance claim online is more than just efficient. Doing so can get you updated details on the claims process — you’ll know just what to do after a car accident — we'll be there to help you every step of the way.
Here’s some of the benefits to filing your claim online with American Family Insurance:
- You can file a claim anytime, anywhere
- You’ll be able to track your claim and it’s status in real-time
- You’ll enjoy easy communication with your claims representative — by phone or email
Don't have MyAmFam? Download it today :
Don’t sign anything
Don’t sign paperwork from the other driver’s attorney or insurance company after the accident. Your insurance company will handle this for you.
Take care of yourself
Getting in a car accident can be scary, and the physical and emotional symptoms can be different for everyone. Before you rush back to work, school or daily life, make sure you’re ok. Get a doctor’s appointment on the books if you’re not feeling like yourself. Even if you don’t think you were injured in the accident, take inventory of how you’re feeling a few days afterward and visit a doctor if anything feels off.
Decide if you need an attorney
Contact a lawyer for a quick assessment of your situation. Many lawyers offer free consultations for car accidents to help you understand if it’s the right choice for you. Be sure to consult with several different lawyers before choosing one.
Prepare for the Unexpected with the Right Insurance Coverage
It can be tough to know what to do after a car accident, but your American Family Insurance agent is always there to help you prepare for the unexpected. Get in touch with your agent today and make sure your car insurance policy has you covered in the event of a crash.